RE: Victoria (Tori) Stafford, 8 - Canada, Murdered. The trial of Michael Rafferty
Ok so now the jury is sequestered, media can report on all the legal discussions took place when the jury was not present. Here is the first article from LFP and wow I feel sick, fuck he really is a sick fuck, oh my gawd!!!
For three months leading to the murder of Victoria 'Tori' Stafford, Michael Rafferty searched the Internet for 'underage rape, real underage rape, real underage rape pictures, pre-teen nude, pre-teen model galleries and nude pre-teen.'
He also accessed a 'how-to-guide' on raping children and dozens of child pornography videos, including some featuring incest and one purporting to be a "snuff movie" involving a child.
On March 28, 2009, 10 days before the kidnapping, Rafferty watched a movie about a man using a story about his lost dog to abduct a blonde, eight-year-old girl walking home alone after school. She is taken away in the man's car and forced later to perform sexual acts.
On April 23, 2009, after the kidnapping, he downloaded a movie about Karla Homolka.
But none of his disturbing Internet activity could be considered as evidence that Rafferty wanted or planned to rape eight-year-old Tori, largely because it was found under a faulty OPP search warrant.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in the April 8, 2009 death of Tori.
After hearing 10 weeks of evidence and argument, the jury retired Thursday to begin reaching a verdict.
Because the jury is now sequestered, media can report information from search warrants, police reports, exhibits admitted during pre-trial and legal arguments when the jury was absent, and the legal arguments themselves, Included in the pre-trial exhibits released is a fascinating, almost four-hour long police interrogation of Rafferty after his May 19, 2009 arrest. Three experienced investigators play good cop and bad cop, but can't elicit a confession.
Playing the bad cop was-Det. Sgt Jim Smyth, known for getting confessions from several high-profile killers, including Rafferty's girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic and former military commander Russell Williams, convicted of killing two women.
Smyth calls Rafferty a psychopath, "pure evil" and a "sick puppy," at one point bringing McClintic herself into the room and challenging Rafferty to call her a liar to her face. McClintic had just confessed to the crime and implicated Rafferty.
Rafferty does not look at her, but says she is a liar.
McClintic, 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2010 and is serving a life sentence. For three years she had insisted Rafferty directed the kidnapping, raped Tori and killed her with a hammer. But on Jan. 14, two days before the pre-trial for Rafferty was to begin, she told police she was the one who killed Tori.
Court documents released show how the OPP's Smyth got the first confession in 2009, but had to listen to her reverse part of that confession in 2012.
The most explosive information comes from the OPP electronic crime unit's computer searches and other police reports:
- Rafferty 'joked' with girlfriends via emails that he'd like their young children as gifts, perhaps innocent, perhaps not. One woman texts him April 1, 2009 that she has two-year-old twin daughters. "lol, can I have one?" he texts back. To another, he admits he'd like to do "bad dirty stuff. . . things that some ppl would really take offence to." And, to yet another, he says he would like "ur first born" but "i cant say what i would like."
- Some of his girlfriends told police he exhibited strange behaviour toward their children.
- A London woman told police in January 2009 that Rafferty drugged her glass of wine while they watched a movie at her place. He tied her hands behind her back, choked her and forced to have anal sex, all the while telling her to pass out. When he was done he went to the bathroom, to clean up, then came back and untied her hands. He helped her into the bedroom, cleaned the wine glasses and left. Police determined the sex was not consensual, but the matter did not go to court.
- His desire for child porn extended back at least to 2006. A hard drive from an old computer found in Rafferty's house contained nine child pornography videos, "some with an outwardly coercive element," police reports say.
- He was also interested in adult and bestiality pornography and accessed necrophilia websites, including some that showed "apparently deceased bodies left in rural areas," police say. One image was of a dead woman in a field with no clothing from the waist down.
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Police obtained most of the information from searching Rafferty's laptop, BlackBerry and ipod Touch found in his Honda Civic and an older hard drive found in his house after his May 19, 2009 arrest.
Evidence of bad character is rarely allowed in trial.
But twice, before and during the trial, the Crown tried to get at least the Internet searches admitted in order to suggest motive and planning of Tori's abduction and to counter any defence allegations McClintic was responsible for the girl's murder.
In the pre-trial held in January and February, Rafferty's defence lawyer, Dirk Derstine, launched a blistering attack on the police search of the electronic items, saying the warrant for the car didn't cover the computer.
"Inexplicably, no efforts were made to obtain a warrant to search the contents of the computer and other electronics," he said.
In doing so, they breached Rafferty's right against unreasonable search and seizure under Sect. 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Derstine said. Under Sect. 24.2, a court can reject evidence obtained that way.
Derstine had support for his argument from the OPP itself. Det. Sgt Ken Falconer of the OPP's technical crimes unit asked in an email soon after the items were seized if a secondary warrant was needed to search the electronics found in the car.
The head of the search warrant team told him to go ahead, believing the search warrant for the car was sufficient.
Derstine also noted that police investigating Tori's disappearance in April 2009 prepared specific warrants to search the computers of Tara McDonald and Linda Winters, Tori's mother and grandmother respectively.
Justice Thomas Heeney agreed with Derstine, ruling Jan. 31 police breached Rafferty's rights when they searched the electronics without a specific warrant.
" . . . I find that their conduct was, at the very least, careless," Heeney ruled.
Under Supreme Court rulings, Heeney had to weigh the value of the evidence against how much Rafferty's privacy was invaded under Sect. 24.2 of the Charter.
Most of the valuable evidence could be brought out in another way, Heeney decided. Much of the rest was either not valuable or "bad character" evidence that would prejudice the jury, he said.
Allowing the Internet searches would be, he acknowledged, "a close call." But he decided against it.
The issue of the Internet searches surfaced again in trial, because Rafferty's lawyer suggested McClintic offered Tori to Rafferty as a sexual gift, but he refused.
Derstine's suggestion not only made McClintic look like someone who offers up little girls for sex, it made Rafferty look even nicer in contrast by refusing the gift, Crown attorney Michael Carnegie argued April 24.
It suggested that Rafferty has no sexual interest in children, the opposite of what the computer searches showed, Carnegie argued.
"There were other girlfriends, your honour, who have interesting and perhaps disconcerting things to say and conclusions drawn from various behaviours of Mr. Rafferty . . . towards their children," Carnegie noted.
The Crown had no intention of calling them in, he said. Nor did the Crown show any inclination to seek admission of suspect text messages between Rafferty and his girlfriends.
Even if he is found innocent, the exchanges raise questions. The OPP's electronic crime section prepared hundreds of pages in reports on the searches of Rafferty's laptop and other electronic devices. On March 30, 2009 he had this instant message exchange on his laptop with a girlfriend after an argument:
Girlfriend: well let me make it up to you. what would you like hun.
Rafferty: ur first born. i cant say what i would like.
Girlfriend: my first born.
Rafferty: thats up to u to be creative and if anything comes up i will call in my order. ur first born yes
Heeney decided he wouldn't re-open that door to the computer searches. Unless a witness agrees to a question, those questions aren't evidence. Because McClintic disagreed with the suggestion she offered Tori as a gift, that suggestion isn't evidence.
And that meant, there was no evidence at the trial that McClintic offered girls as sexual gifts or that Rafferty refused this particular gift.
The laptop would have helped the Crown in other ways, as well. Rafferty exchanged his old BlackBerry just before his arrest and information on it was wiped clean.
But that old BlackBerry was synched to the laptop. That meant some text messages from April 8 and 9, 2009 remained.
For example, Rafferty texted McClintic April 9 "Get it?" That corroborated McClintic's testimony he dropped off hair dye for her to change her appearance after Tori's murder.
Through phone company records and testimony from girlfriends, the Crown was able to show in trial Rafferty made contact with several girlfriends and arranged dates in the hours after Tori's death. That was hardly the response of a "horrified dupe" who merely witnessed a killing, the Crown argued.
With the laptop and the synched BlackBerry messages, the Crown would have been able to show some of the actual texts.
One girlfriend texted Rafferty at 10:28 p.m., April 8, 2009, only hours after Tori was killed by hammer blows to the head, stuffed in garbage bags and hidden under rocks.
"Hey baby, how's the work coming?" she asks Rafferty.
"Ick. Lol," Rafferty texts back.
The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.